A recent fatal tandem accident and subsequent information have led USPA to conclude that a number of candidates who attended tandem instructor rating courses at The Parachute Center in Lodi, California, and other locations conducted by either Rob Pooley, #155136, or Yuri Garmashov, #163264, were not properly taught and/or were not properly certified. Some courses may have been abbreviated or incomplete, or candidates may not have met initial qualifications. Post-course rating applications may have been submitted under false pretenses or with forged signatures since, in some cases, the course examiner had been suspended and was not authorized to conduct courses.
In the interest of public safety, USPA is taking steps to ensure that all of approximately 140 tandem instructors and candidates affected can demonstrate proper emergency procedures, have completed the knowledge tests from USPA and tandem manufacturer United Parachute Technologies and have submitted proper rating applications to both UPT and USPA. About 120 must undergo a new USPA-developed refresher course (some immediately and most by September 30), while some 12 others have had their ratings suspended and must undergo a full and complete tandem instructor rating course conducted by a current USPA Tandem Examiner. Here is USPA’s announcement explaining which requirements apply to which tandem instructors and candidates. Here is information USPA is providing to current tandem examiners, with details about the new refresher course.
After September 30, any affected tandem candidate or instructor who has not completed the appropriate process will be suspended (or continue to be suspended) from conducting tandem jumps.